Although his enemies in the Surete are sharpening their knives, Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Homicide Department gives the appearance of 'business as usual' as he goes about investigating the death of a woman who was once one of the most famous people in Canada. Moving between the isolated village of Three Pines and Montreal, the gentlemanly Gamache must solve the mystery of Constance Pineault's life while simultaneously uncovering the corruption festering in the Quebecois elite.
Quirky characters, carefully controlled tension and a lacing of subtle humour render this multi-layered story a most satisfying and enjoyable read. [Larger font]
None of us had read or heard of Louise Penny's books before but all became very interested in this. We thought it was just going to be an easy-read police procedural but it had enjoyable depths of multiple plots, characterisation and place. It was obvious that it was part of a series but that didn't detract from the story working well as a complete whole. Several members are now on the look-out for more Chief Inspector Gamache novels. The issues about celebrity/privacy and how this affects individuals felt very topical with recent comments made by people who have been in this position.
We thought this book was light weight pulp , suitable for sale in a low-level airport bookshop beside the many unsold copies of the Da Vinci code . At least we were all in agreement on the review and look forward to further reads
Very enjoyable book with a rewarding ending. We want to read others in the series!
Everyone enjoyed the book, once they had figured out who was who. Some felt that sudden plot twists ( like the brother's hat) were a bit far-fetched, but all felt they would like to read more of Louise Penny and Gamache. An enjoyable read.
All the group enjoyed the book - easy to read, interesting characters, loved the village, the snow and the complicated story. Felt it was not as dark and harsh as many thrillers, despite the content. Also a part of the world we are not familiar with.
Much enjoyed detective story. Well-written with clever twists and turns. Lots of interesting and well drawn characters.
We all really loved this book - such clever writing. All keen to read rest in series.
80% of our group loved this book. We voted on the star rating! The male in our group asked that his less enthusiastic review of the book be noted. We felt that this was a feminine who-dunnit in terms of the characters (including Henri the dog), background activity and even the settlement of Three Pines. It had a gentleness and whimsy lacking in many other crime novels. Great escape.
Most found this an easy read and enjoyed it. Some read it quickly as wanted to know what happened. Wrapped up well.
Most people enjoyed the book because it had quirky characters, a lovely mixture of homely domestic details and mystery, and it was interesting to learn more about Quebec, Quins and the Cree Indians. Some of us were keen to read more of the series, while other definitely didn't like the book and struggled to even finish it. We all thought the book was complicated with two plot lines and too many characters(some with multiple names) and a back story that was hard to follow if you hadn't read her other books, hence the lower score.
We all really enjoyed this book, not one dissenter! We thought it was beautifully written and a different twist on the usual who-dunnits. The layers of the story were intriguing and the characters very interesting. A great read.
We all thoroughly enjoyed the book. We liked the layers of mystery in what was happening, which was different to most crime novels. A great summer read. We loved the portrayal of characters, especially Henri the dog.
We all enjoyed this book. Most of us were new to the author and several were keen to read more by her. Some felt it would have been better to start with the first book in the series as there seemed to be a lot of back stories going on. It was a nice change of pace after some of the darker books we had read.
Our group loved this book, a great read to begin the year. Interesting plot with lots of twists and turns and you really needed to reread those first two chapters for full appreciation. Loved the characters, all distinctive and memorable if not believable.
We all loved this book. Great plot, we loved that it was a Canadian setting and so well described that we felt we could just see it. Great characters. Some of us have gone on to read some of the author's other books.
The group was divided into "Louise Penny fans" and newcomers to her novels, but we all got engrossed in the parallel plots. We loved the inhabitants of Three Pines and the integrity of Chief Inspector Gamache, but found it harder to follow Jean-Guy Beauvoir and the Brunels. The ending was a bit too tidy and a bit 'Hollywood' but, all in all, an enjoyable read and a page-turner.
A good read. However, although the book stands alone, it would have been helpful to have read other books in the series to gain more insight into Armand Gamache's character. The various clues, seen in hindsight, might have been more apparent. However, a clever mystery and generally enjoyed.
Beautifully written, everyone really enjoyed it. Gripping reading with an exciting ending. We look forward to reading more of Louise Penny, and we congratulate her for her recent success in her literary achievements by the Canadian authorities.
We all enjoyed it and thought it was beautifully written. Her general descriptions and above all the descriptions of her characters, were very vivid. It was an intelligent book and even some who are not fans of crime fiction enjoyed it. The only slightly negative comment was about the length. It could have been pruned in places, but several members had read other Gamache novels and this is apparently not typical. We wouldn't mind another in the series.
The majority of us had read the book. Slightly mixed reviews with some really liking the book, the style of Louise Penny's writing and characterisations. Others thought it was 'ok' but thought they had read better books in the same genre.
Great book - excellent detective story, plot cleverly set out, lots of clues and red herrings all thoroughly enjoyed. Interesting characters, plausible plot, interesting history of quints and Quebecois politics. This book had it all. We discussed what it must be like to grow up in the public eye, sibling jealousy and what makes a good crime novel.
Most of us loved the book - the score, however reflects those few who don't 'do' whodunnits'! Excellent characterisation, settings and descriptions. The food - YUM.
Overall everyone enjoyed this book. It is one of a series, but people who hadn't read any previous ones could pick up enough of the back story to be able to follow the plot and not feel they were missing anything. Good writing, solid characters and a ripping yarn.